Board of the Department of Natural Resources
Marine Resources Division
Marine Resource Research Institute Classroom
217 Ft. Johnson Road
February 17, 2012, 2:00 pm
The regular meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was held at 2:00 p.m., February 17, 2012, in the Marine Resources Division classroom, Charleston, SC. Notice of the date, time and place of the meeting was posted and mailed to the news media. Chairman Caroline Rhodes presided at the meeting. Board members present included Cary Chastain, John Evans, Michael Hutchins, Randy Lowe, Norman Pulliam and Larry Yonce. Acting Director Alvin Taylor and staff members of the Department of Natural Resources were present at the meeting.
- Call to Order
Chairman Caroline Rhodes called the meeting to order at 2:00 p.m. and welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Rev. Rob Dewey, Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy, offered the invocation.
- Pledge of Allegiance
Vice Chairman John Evans led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
- Introduction of Guests
Don Winslow, Chief of Staff, introduced Larry McCord, Santee Cooper; Tom Kierspe, Santee Cooper; McKenzie Hutaff, Megadock Billfishing Tournament; Jim Goller, Harry Hampton Memorial Wildlife Fund; Deidre Menefee, Harry Hampton Memorial Wildlife Fund; and Douglas Ford, Research Director, Senate Fish, Game and Forestry Committee.
- Constituent Comments
McKenzie Hutaff requested that the Board strike the weather rule from the Agreement with the Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series.
- Approval of Minutes
Chairman Rhodes asked if there were any amendments, additions, deletions or corrections to the January 26, 2012, meeting minutes. Mr. Evans made a motion that the Board approve the minutes of the January 26, 2012, meeting with the following amendment.
- Advisory Committee Reports
- Migratory Waterfowl
Mr. Hutchins reported that the Migratory Waterfowl Advisory Committee met on November 2. A quorum was not present so no action could be taken. The Advisory Committee was informed that the color separations have been completed for the upcoming stamp. Due to the fact that a quorum was not present the artist commission will be in place until November 21. The Advisory Committee was provided a summary of revenue. Mr. Hutchins made a recommendation, upon the Board’s request, to consider consolidating the Migratory Waterfowl Advisory Committee with the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee. Mr. Hutchins noted that a request was made for feedback from the Committee and stated that the Board would not insist on the consolidation if the Committee felt it was not necessary. The Advisory Committee also met on November 21, via conference call. The Advisory Committee reelected Milton Brazzell
was reelected as Chairman and Bobby Creech was elected Joe Johnson as Vice Chairman. The Advisory Committee approved the contract with Jim Killian for the 2013 stamp. Mr. Brazzell informed Mr. Hutchins that the Advisory Committee opposes the consolidation of the two Advisory Committees. Mr. Hutchins stated that he would provide the information to the Board. Mr. Hutchins proposes no further action and recommended that the Committee stand alone, for now.
Cary Chastain seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Deidre Menefee, representing the Harry Hampton Memorial Wildlife Fund, presented the Department with a symbolic check in the amount of $104,050 for 2012 projects. This brings the total project funding to $2,731,080.
Col. Taylor commended Director John Frampton on his receipt of Upstate Forever’s Public Servant of the Year award at their Forever Green Awards Luncheon on February 2.
- Advisory Committee Reports
- Saltwater Recreational Fisheries
Robert Boyles, Deputy Director for Marine Resources, reported that the Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Advisory Committee met January 31, 2012, in Charleston. The Advisory Committee received briefings on the agency budget, budget outlook, licenses sold by type and possible projects for 2013.
- Law Enforcement
Norman Pulliam reported that the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee met January 31 and February 1, 2012, at the Webb Center. Terry LeCroy chaired the meeting on February 1 since
in Mr. Pulliam 's absence had to leave the Webb Center on the morning of February 1 to attend a meeting in Columbia. The Advisory Committee received a report on the budget; an overview of Law Enforcement activities since the last meeting; an overview of the Law Enforcement Division structure; a legislative report and a report on Region 1 activities.
- Heritage Trust
Ken Rentiers, Deputy Director for Land, Water and Conservation, reported that the Heritage Trust Advisory Board met on February 2, 2012, in Columbia. The Advisory Committee received an update on the improvements at Poinsett Bridge; a presentation on the natural and cultural history of cane in the US; and a budget and revenue update.
- Governor's Cup Billfishing Series
Mr. Boyles reported that the Governor's Cup Billfishing Series Advisory Committee met February 9, 2012, in Charleston. The Advisory Committee was briefed on the results of the survey on the weather rule. Mr. Boyles noted that 60% of respondents said they would like to see no change. The Advisory Committee has had two opportunities to remove the weather rule and has taken no action. The Advisory Committee asked the DNR Board to give no further consideration to amending the weather rule. The Advisory Committee approved the Annual Report pending subcommittee approval. The Advisory Committee reviewed guidelines for the 2012 tournament series and had a discussion on vacancies.
Emily Cope, Deputy Director for Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, reported that the Waterfowl Advisory Committee met February 7, 2012, in Columbia. The Advisory Committee received an update on the wood duck box program, results of WMA waterfowl season and results of the mid winter waterfowl survey. Following receipt of a report on it, the Advisory Committee discussed the Aquatic Plant Management Plan.
- Items for Board Information
- Board Discussion of Timber Management Program
Mrs. Cope distributed and reviewed statistics for DNR timber sales for the period 2005-2011. Mrs. Cope informed the Board that, on average, the timber has been sold above market value. Mrs. Cope pointed out that DNR manages timber for wildlife management purposes. The Board discussed that with the amount of acreage the Department should look into having a forester on staff and not have to rely on the SC Forestry Commission. Tim Ivey gave the Board details on costs for timber cruise data collection. Mr. Ivey also informed the Board of potential costs of having a forester on staff.
- Deer Baiting
Mrs. Cope distributed and reviewed Section 50-11-310(b) and the opinion of the Attorney General on the recent issue of hunting over bait in Game Zones One and Two. After much discussion, Mr. Pulliam made a motion that the Board direct staff to seek legislation that prohibits hunting over bait in Game Zones One and Two. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried with Larry Yonce voting in opposition.
- Drought Update
Hope Mizzell, State Climatologist, provided the Board with a drought update and reviewed rainfall totals, precipitation percentiles, streamflows, lake levels and ground-water monitoring wells around the state.
- Items for Board Action
- Recommendations for Sheepshead Management
Mel Bell informed the Board that as of January 2012 the South Carolina sheepshead fishery is completely unmanaged and unregulated. Mr. Bell reminded the Board that in September 2011 the Marine Advisory Committee recommended (based on staff recommendation) a 10 fish/person daily bag limit and 12-inch minimum legal length as a preferred sheepshead management option. The Board instructed DNR to seek public/stakeholder feedback on the MAC recommendation. Mr. Bell reported that public meetings and the sheepshead fishery survey were announced through press releases, news articles, the DNR website, emails to licensed anglers and recreational and commercial fishery organizations. Four public meetings were held, attended by only 26 participants. Mr. Bell noted that the Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Advisory Committee recommends a 10 fish/person daily bag limit, 30 fish/boat limit and 14-inch total length minimum legal length as the preferred management option. Mr. Evans made a motion that the Board approve the recommendation as presented. Mr. Chastain seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Aquatic Nuisance Plant Management Plan
Mr. Rentiers reported that the Aquatic Plant Management Council met February 14, 2012, in Columbia. The public meeting was attended by property owners and waterfowl hunters. The Council reviewed all comments received and reviewed the data and held a lengthy discussion resulting in approval of the Aquatic Nuisance Plant Management Plan as written. Mr. Rentiers introduced Chris Page and Mike Hook who are responsible for this program. Mr. Page reviewed some of the concerns the public voiced with the stocking of grass carp in the Santee Cooper lakes and explained that the staff believe the stocking recommendation is at a level to have the lake system's native and invasive vegetative species at a maintenance level.
Mr. Evans made a motion that the Board approve the Aquatic Nuisance Plant Management Plan as written with the caveat that it be closely monitored and action be taken if it is seen that the grass carp are causing a loss of native vegetation. Michael Hutchins seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Executive Session
Mr. Pulliam made a motion for the Board to hold an Executive Session to discuss legal, personnel and contractual matters. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Open Session
Mr. Hutchins made a motion that the Board return to regular session, noting that no actions were taken during Executive Session. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Pulliam made a motion that the Board request the Agency Head Salary Commission to compensate Alvin Taylor $130,000.00 per year, but no less than the prior Director, to become effective March 17, 2012, when he assumes the position of Director. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Evans made a motion that the Board give preliminary approval for staff to investigate a potential land acquisition in Aiken County. Mr. Hutchins seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Yonce made a motion that the Board give preliminary approval for staff to investigate a potential land acquisition in Horry County. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Time and Location of the Next Meetings
The March Board meeting will be held Friday, March 23, 2012, in Columbia.
The April Board meeting will be held Thursday, April 19, 2012, location to be determined.
There being no further business to be brought before the DNR Board at this time, the meeting was adjourned.
The SCDNR Board Minutes for February 17, 2012 (file size 1M), have been provided in the Adobe PDF file format. Adobe® Reader® is required to open the above files and is available as a free download from the Adobe® Web site.